Byline: eddie alinea
THE PHILIPPINE karatedo team in kumite returned home Monday toughened by a five-month training stint in Europe as part of its preparations for the coming Southeast Asian Games.
Gretchen Malalad and Cherli Tugday, who combined for eight of the team's 14 gold medal harvest, headed Monday's arrival from Italy where the Filipino Karatekas last saw action at the San Marino Open Championships where they collected a gold medal, courtesy of the former, five silver and three bronze medals.
The pretty Malalad, a beauty contestant and a ramp model when not trading kicks and punches, ruled the open category in that competition held Oct. 8-9, her third including similar triumphs in the 60-kilogram class in the X Giochi Dell Adiatico Di Karate in Termoli, Italy May 14-15 and 15th Coupe De L' Amitie Sept. 3 in Toulon, France.
Those who arrived with Malalad are Junel Perania, Bernardino Chua and Ireneo Toribio, who each brought home a gold medal.
Manalad is actually seeking a three-peat in the Games the country is hosting on Nov. 27 to Dec. 5,
The other members of the team, Nelson Pacalso and Joel Gonzaga, according to Philippine Karatedo Federation president Ed Ponce, are arriving today.
Perania, competing in the 70-kg. level, …